2020s >> 2022 >> no-1415-july-2022

Ethical shopping / Vampires / Freedom

‘Ethical Shopping’: A Luxury

Count your food miles, buy organic, live without plastics, buy local products, support small businesses – we’re told this is how individual consumers can choose to help the environment.

Really? Don’t get us wrong. We’re all in favour of people taking personal responsibility – the voluntary society we want will depend on that very thing.

But these incitements to personal sacrifice are a gigantic act of misdirection. The powers-that-be love talking about your personal responsibility for the state of the planet, because it’s better than owning up to their collective responsibility for ruining it.

They are responsible for a wasteful system that creates obscene wealth and luxury for the 1 percent while many of us end up struggling just to get by. And they have the cheek to tell us to cut back on our personal consumption!

So be responsible, by all means. But just remember, capitalism never will be.

Now ask yourself these questions:

1. Why is it that most of what we ever buy – food, clothes, electricals, etc., is mass produced?

It’s because of economies of scale, which reduce production costs, so mass-produced stuff comes to dominate the market because it’s always cheaper.

2. Does this stuff have to come from so far away?

The companies that make the stuff are always trying to undercut each other to grab more market share. This has tended to push production out to wherever in the world wages are cheapest, resulting in long, complex supply chains and wasteful global transportation. These two factors have wiped out most local production over the decades, so we have little choice when we shop.

But there’s another factor that restricts our ability to choose. Our wage levels generally are determined by how much we have to spend to keep us in a condition that allows us to keep working. And it’s the prices of the global, mass-produced stuff (battery eggs, not free-range; prosecco, not champagne) that enter into that calculation.

So while some may be able to shop ‘ethically’, it’s a luxury many of us simply can’t afford.


Capitalism – a vampire horror story!

In the capitalist money system, the rich 1 percent are like demented vampires, sucking the life out of the planet until there’s nothing left. The solution isn’t garlic and crosses, it’s social revolution.

In world socialism, there is no money system. There are no rich people. There are no poor people. There are no bosses. There is no war. All decisions are shared. All responsibilities and resources are communal.

This is Earth under new management. Everyone’s.

You could learn to drive a bus or a train, fix plumbing, develop an AI application, plough a field, teach a child, chair a steering group, study marine ecosystems, cure a disease, brew beer, rehearse a play. Your time is your own, to use as you think best. Help society thrive, and discover a job satisfaction that money can’t buy.

Technology has made this society actionable right now, but the vampires are not going to give up their feeding habits. So the 99 percent need to act. Together we need to use the democratic machinery to take control away from the 1 percent and their political glove puppets, and abolish their self-serving property laws. Then we can start restoring this planet to health and sanity.

It won’t be Utopia. No society is perfect. But collective and democratic cooperation will always find better solutions than crazed vampires ever can.


Freedom

“Do you see freedom as having to get into a car every day and drive into traffic, into smog, to go into some contrived glass office building that doesn’t produce anything, and push paper around for 40, 50 hours a week? Is that freedom?

Is it the freedom to be able to walk into a store, if you have money, and buy the food that you need to survive, or is more freedom attached to the idea of not having to purchase anything, and having the necessities of life provided through structure. So instead of having to earn a living in high stress your entire existence, you can actually live your life.”

Peter Joseph


Next article: Q&A: The cost of living crisis ⮞

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